Winter 2015 Newsletter

Northern Sharing
Winter 2015, Issue 1
Through meaningful
partnerships with
communities affected by the
economic and social
conditions in
Saskatchewan’s North, we
are working together to
create knowledge that can
be mobilized into actions
leading to positive change.
Introducing the first of our regular newsletters on northern
capacity building
We are pleased to provide you with
this first edition of our regular
newsletter for people interested in
improving the conditions in
Northern Saskatchewan
Communities. This newsletter is a
product of a northern capacity
building project for Northern
Saskatchewan residents and
communities that is being
conducted by and for northerners.
Over the next 3 to 4 years you can
use these newsletters to better
understand what is happening with
this project and how it can help
northern communities build better
futures for themselves and their
Since this project started several
months ago we have been building
a network of connections across
Northern Saskatchewan. Together,
we have started to learn about the
economic and social aspirations of
our northern communities and how
entrepreneurship might be playing
a role. Over the next year we will
be visiting several northern
communities to finish establishing
partnerships with them and to begin
assessing the role that
entrepreneurship might play in their
regions as a way to improve social
and economic conditions in ways
desired by the communities. We
will also assess the nature of the
We refer to the efforts to improve social and economic
conditions in the north as capacity building. Capacity
building is a pressing and important issue in all Canadian
provincial north areas, including Northern Saskatchewan.
entrepreneurship in those areas,
including how readily it is
embraced in the communities.
This project is also a comparative
one with Northern Scandinavia,
which shares much in common
with Northern Saskatchewan – but
also has many differences. We are
working with colleagues in
Northern Norway and Northern
Sweden in particular to try to
understand what has worked in
their remote and primarily
Indigenous communities. We will
be reporting back to you with the
results of that comparative analysis.
Why this project is needed
Despite being a major contributor to
the Saskatchewan and Canadian
economies as a result of its vast
resource-based wealth, Northern
Saskatchewan is the second poorest
region in the country with a median
income of just $13,600. Its population
is mainly young and primarily
While the general consensus is that
more can and should be done to
improve conditions in the North, few
effective solutions have been
The outcomes from this project will
include new models and insights that
will positively impact communities in
Northern Saskatchewan. For
individual communities, it should
result in better knowledge about what
is happening in other northern
communities in both Canada and
where there are similar conditions and
challenges in Norway and Sweden.
This project will also provide
communities with opportunities to
share their successes.
Our Pinehouse Visit
On December 5 members of our project team were welcomed with open
arms – as usual – when we visited Pinehouse. We are looking forward to
working with our partners in that community throughout 2015.
When in Pinehouse we attended
the Reclaiming Our Community
(ROC) meeting during which
those in attendance generously
shared their knowledge and
perspectives on how the lives of
all citizens in that community
can continually improve. We
are looking forward to returning
to Pinehouse and to working
with other communities.
Our Project Team
Most of the University of Saskatchewan members of our project
team are well known to many in Northern Saskatchewan. Lee
Swanson and Ken Coates are leading the project with Joelena Leader
coordinating most of the data collection and analysis work with the
help of Dazawray Landrie-Parker, J.D. Bell, Billy Rowluck, Danette
Starblanket, and Paola Chiste. Valuable support is provided by Vince
Bruni-Bossio, David Zhang, and Dana Carriere. The rest of this team
is made up of many members of our northern communities. In future
issues of this newsletter we will profile some of our team members
so you can get to know them better.
Did you know
… that the Saskatchewan Chamber
of Commerce published the
Northern Business Task Force
Report in December 2014? It lists
12 recommendations designed to
improve conditions in Northern
Saskatchewan. Access the report
from the home